How the media embraced en masse fake news about Trump Tower meeting

On Sunday, I exposed as “fake news” a New York Times article touting President Trump’s “admission” that the purpose of his son’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was to obtain negative information about Hillary Clinton. In fact, Trump’s statement wasn’t news at all. He said the same thing more than a year ago.

Moreover, the Times, misstated Trump’s “admission.” It characterized his statement as an admission that the meeting “focused” on Clinton dirt. This enabled the Times to claim that Trump was contradicting previous statements by his team that the focus was on adoptions of Russian babies.

The Times thus knowingly conflated the meeting’s purpose with its focus. The purpose, for Team Trump, was to come up with dirt. The focus — what was discussed at the meeting — was different by all accounts because the Russian lawyer talked about adoptions, not Hillary.

When I wrote my post, I didn’t realize, but should have suspected, that the New York Times’ fake news story was only the tip of the mainstream media iceberg. Nearly every major anti-Trump media outlet — which is to say nearly every major media outlet — was pushing the same false line.

In addition to the Times, the dishonor role includes, inevitably, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the BBC, CNBC, and CNN’s Chris Cillizza. It also includes The Atlantic’s David Frum, who must have known better. It would be difficult to find a mainstream media outlet that wasn’t part of the herd.

But there was more than herd mentality at work here. There was an enormous amount of frustration.

The anti-Trump media is fully invested in the Russia collusion story. I can hardly fathom the amount of psychic energy it has poured into this story.

Yet, after almost two years, the hole remains virtually dry. All its proponents have is the Trump Tower meeting. But it came to light more than a year ago and has produced barely a sip.

The Trump-haters have high hopes for Robert Mueller’s investigation. But his team is busy trying Paul Manafort on charges that don’t relate to Donald Trump or the 2016 election. Mueller certainly has other irons in the fire, but the Trump-haters don’t know with specificity what they are or what they have produced. And all of the public’s Mueller-related attention is on the Manafort trial now.

Thus, Trump’s old news tweet on Sunday was manna from heaven for the Trump-hating media. Sure, some twisting and outright dishonesty were required to make it fit for consumption. But when has that ever been a problem for the the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the rest of the herd?

It’s not surprising that the mainstream media, en masse, dishonestly treated Donald Trump’s old news tweet about his son’s Trump Tower meeting as a new admission inconsistent with past statements by members of his team. Sickening, yes. Surprising, no.